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EDITORIAL World Telemedia postponed: but there is still a lot to talk about

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World Telemedia Marbella has, naturally, been postponed until next Spring, but there is still much to talk about – and the imminent launch of Telemedia 8.1 online, will provide the ideal platform for these discussions to take place.

World Telemedia is the talking shop for getting the inside track on value added service, engagement and billing and payment for online and mobile services. However, with COVID still raging across Europe – and after much consultation with sponsors and delegates – the organisers, of course, postponed it.

But there is still so much to talk about – so watch out for Telemedia 8.1, an online event that will span several months and will connect the entire m-commerce sector – from network connectivity, billing and payments, through to messaging, marketing, VAS, content monetisation and premium apps – and will be a one-stop-shop for all the latest knowledge, thought-leadership and exchange of ideas. Details to come in the next week or so.

So, what should we be talking about at Telemedia 8.1? Well, this week’s news offers a great insight into what key issues are impacting telemedia. And there are some surprises.

One thing that sticks out this week is that voice is once again getting a lot of attention. Back in the early days of the lockdown we reports on how voice services were starting to make a bit of a comeback, with many consumers looking to a good old-fashioned call to communicate with their friends and family. As the lockdown as proceeded, this has spread to more people than ever using voice services to contact brands, retailers and other organisations.

With more people than ever using digital services, there will be an inevitable rise in customer service calls. However, that isn’t the interesting bit: the interesting bit is that there has been a surge in tech activity to better service this voice callers.

IMIMobile, for instance, has joined Google’s Verified Calls programme, which seeks to help businesses not appear as random calls – because who these days answers unknown numbers? – to help connect businesses and customers and help use the voice channel for better engagement.

Meanwhile, Infobip, has launched Moments – a new omnichannel customer engagement hub – that helps marketers and brands create and activate highly effective campaigns that will resonate with customers on a personal level by providing a 360 view of the customer and unifying today’s most popular communications applications onto one platform.

This allows brands to reach customers on their preferred channels with contextualised content that can very quickly help drive better outcomes for the business.

Technology is also being applied to understand how calls go – whether incoming customer service, or outgoing marketing calls – so that businesses can better understand how they are doing with this newly rediscovered channel.

ResponseTap, one of Europe’s leading call tracking providers, has ramped up its Speech Analytics offering, adding Speech AI, which uses advanced machine learning to capture call outcomes with more accuracy than any other product in the space.

And British Gas has been using it to work out how well its marketing activities have been going, as well as helping to improve the customer journey.

Finally, payments are also getting a voice. PCI Pal, a global provider of cloud-based secure payment solutions, has added Speech Recognition capability for both its Agent Assist and IVR Payment solutions.

PCI Pal’s customers now have the option of allowing callers to securely speak their credit card details over the phone, while PCI Pal securely processes the data and prevents it from entering the company’s environment.

Of course, there is much more happening outside of voice, but you can check that out in the newsletter and in latest news on the site. And watch out for news of all the great things coming this autumn at Telemedia 8.1.

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